It’s tempting to think the secret to a stunning smile might be hiding in your kitchen. After all, you can find various whitening methods online ranging from strawberries to charcoal that promise real results.
Unfortunately, little scientific evidence exists to back up the benefits of natural whitening, and it can actually do more harm than good. Here’s what you need to know about some of the most popular DIY ingredients. If you want a safe and effective way to treat discoloration, consider professional teeth whitening instead.
Spices and Oils
Turmeric is a popular spice with an intense orange colour. Some people claim that brushing with a turmeric and water paste can have a whitening effect. However, there are currently no studies to back this up. What we do know is that it will stain your toothbrush, and many people find the taste unpleasant.
Oil pulling is another at-home treatment that’s picking up speed. It involves swishing oil around in your mouth for a whopping 15-20 minutes before spitting it out. It may help reduce harmful bacteria. However, it’s a time-consuming remedy that offers no scientifically proven whitening benefits.
Citrus Fruits and Acids
Lemons, oranges, strawberries, and other fruits containing citric acid are often touted as natural tooth whiteners. Apple cider vinegar, which is mildly acidic, is popular for the same reason. While these may be great dietary choices, they aren’t so great for your smile.
Acids can eat away at the enamel on your teeth. So can the natural sugar that’s found in fruit. Using citrus fruits and apple cider vinegar to whiten your teeth may result in a loss of tooth enamel and increase your risk for cavities.
Charcoal and Scrubs
There’s a misguided idea that you can scrub your teeth to make them brighter. People who believe it tend to brush with abrasive substances such as charcoal and baking soda. Unfortunately, no evidence shows these ingredients are safe or effective for whitening.
In fact, scrubbing your teeth can make them look more yellow. If you’re using materials that are too abrasive, you can wear your enamel away, exposing a softer yellow layer called dentin.
Schedule a Tooth Whitening Consultation in Calgary
Trust the health and beauty of your smile to a professional. Call 403-543-4600 to schedule a tooth whitening consultation with Dr. Gordon Chee. Aesthetic Dental Studio serves patients from Calgary, Cochrane, Airdrie, and nearby areas of Alberta.